Warehouse and distribution centre Dartford, Kent

This project delivers a warehouse and distribution centre for the supermarket chain, Sainsbury, the main client being the developer Prologis. The main building is 575,000 sq feet in size; but the project also includes a 450 car multi-story car park, a Resource Recovery Unit and a Vehicle Maintenance facility with associated support services, perimeter roads and hard standings. VolkerFitzpatrick worked with novated designer RPS Burks Green to deliver this prestigious project.

The project is split into two sites, with the RDC Building and the Multi-Storey Car Park being in Plot 1 and the RRU Building and VMU Building in Plot 37.

The civil engineering elements, comprising some 50% of the works scope, involved some innovative solutions to the foundation construction. The site is built on a mixture of materials - chalk, made ground and a deep peat layer overlying chalk at one end. The compressible nature of the peat layer gives rise to potential long term settlement problems. The first operations involved re-use of won on site Made Ground and the importation of Concrete Fines to bring the site to the correct level - and provide a piling platform.

VolkerFitzpatrick, as part of their tender and design evaluation, engineered a foundation solution where a combination of driven cast in situ, driven Precast concrete piling, stone columns and Dynamic Compaction have been adopted to support the buildings.

The foundations for the hardstandings around the buildings were also re-engineered with the use of innovative CMC grouted columns supporting a Load Transfer Platform.

The main buildings are constructed from steel portal frames using a ‘hit and miss' column layout. The external perimeter walls are a combination of precast retaining walls, beams and dock wall system. The buildings are clad using a mixture of composite panels and built up system.

The volumes of concrete involved in the construction of the project meant that Dartford Park was an ideal site for using our own internal batching plant. Concrete was supplied to subcontractors on site for piling and grouted columns, drainage, internal floor slabs, pile caps and external hardstandings. The batcher produced 40,000m³ of concrete in 34 weeks whilst on site, an average production of 1,167 m3 a week.

The Multi storey car park has been constructed using galvanised steel, and precast planks and ramps, with a structural topping. The Multi storey car park is joined to the RDC building using a link bridge

Key Points

  • Regional Distribution Centre
  • Includes Resource Recovery Unit and Vehicle Maintenance Unit
  • Also includes 450 space multi-storey car park
  • 50% of the value of the project was on civil engineering elements
  • Innovative foundation solution
  • Re-use of on site materials to provide piling platform
  • Combination of driven, cast insitu, driven pre-cast piling, stone columns and dynamic compaction
  • Use of on site batching plant